Sviatoslav Shevchuk
Sviatoslav Shevchuk is the Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church , Ukrainska Hreko-Katolytska Tserkva), is the largest Eastern Rite Catholic sui juris particular church in full communion with the Holy See, and is directly subject to the Pope...

 since 25 March 2011.


Sviatoslav Shevchuk was born in 1970, in Stryi
Stryi is a city located on the left bank of the river Stryi in the Lviv Oblast of western Ukraine . Serving as the administrative center of the Stryi Raion , the city itself is also designated as a separate raion within the oblast. Thus, the city has two administrations - the city and the raion...

, Ukrainian SSR
Ukrainian SSR
The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic or in short, the Ukrainian SSR was a sovereign Soviet Socialist state and one of the fifteen constituent republics of the Soviet Union lasting from its inception in 1922 to the breakup in 1991...

. He was ordained as a priest
Priesthood (Catholic Church)
The ministerial orders of the Catholic Church include the orders of bishops, deacons and presbyters, which in Latin is sacerdos. The ordained priesthood and common priesthood are different in function and essence....

 on 26 June 1994. From 2002 to 2005 he worked as head of the secretariat of Patriarch Lubomyr Husar. In 2006 he obtained a Doctorate
A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder to teach in a specific field, A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder...

 in theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

 from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas and he was rector of the seminary
A seminary, theological college, or divinity school is an institution of secondary or post-secondary education for educating students in theology, generally to prepare them for ordination as clergy or for other ministry...

 of Lviv
Lviv is a city in western Ukraine. The city is regarded as one of the main cultural centres of today's Ukraine and historically has also been a major Polish and Jewish cultural center, as Poles and Jews were the two main ethnicities of the city until the outbreak of World War II and the following...


On January 14, 2009, he was appointed auxiliary bishop of the Eparchy of Santa María del Patrocinio en Buenos Aires
Eparchy of Santa María del Patrocinio en Buenos Aires
The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Santa María del Patrocinio en Buenos Aires is a diocese located in the city of Buenos Aires in the Ecclesiastical province of Buenos Aires in Argentina.-History:...

 and consecrated bishop on 7 April 2009, by Archbishop Ihor Vozniak
Ihor Vozniak
Vladyka Ihor Vozniak is the Archbishop of Lviv since 2005, succeeding Lubomyr Husar.-Life:Archbishop Vozniak was born on 3 August 1952 in Lypytsi, in Mykolaiv Raion, Lviv Oblast, in the Ukrainian SSR of the Soviet Union . He entered the Redemptorist Order in 1973 and was secretly ordained a priest...

. On 10 April 2010, he was appointed Apostolic Administrator of the same diocese. In addition to Ukrainian and Spanish, he knows Polish, Russian, English, Italian, Greek, Latin and Old Slavonic.

On 23 March 2011, he was elected Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church to replace the retired Lubomyr Husar. This decision was confirmed by Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See...

 on 25 March 2011. He was enthroned on 27 March 2011. The patriarchs of two of Ukraine's three main Orthodox communities
History of Christianity in Ukraine
The History of Christianity in Ukraine dates back to the earliest centuries of the apostolic church. It has remained the dominant religion in the country since its acceptance in 988 by Vladimir the Great , who instated it as the state religion of Kievan Rus', a medieval East Slavic state.Although...

 (including UOC-MP) and a leading hierarch of the other were present for the enthronement in the church's new seat, the Cathedral of the Resurrection
Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ
The Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ is the main cathedral of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, located in Kiev , the capital of Ukraine...


"Major Archepiscopate"

On 29 March 2011, Major Archbishop Shevchuk said "I'm departing with my bishops and all of the metropolitans of our church to Rome, because it's our duty to make a courtesy visit to the Holy Father," he said a press conference in Kyiv. The UGCC
Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church , Ukrainska Hreko-Katolytska Tserkva), is the largest Eastern Rite Catholic sui juris particular church in full communion with the Holy See, and is directly subject to the Pope...

 leader said that the UGCC Synod of Bishops had prepared a number of proposals for the Pope. "We're really going to tell of how our church is developing and that each developing church [becomes] a patriarch
Originally a patriarch was a man who exercised autocratic authority as a pater familias over an extended family. The system of such rule of families by senior males is called patriarchy. This is a Greek word, a compound of πατριά , "lineage, descent", esp...

ate, because a patriarchate is a period in the completion of the development of a church,
" he said. Cardinal Slipyj in the 1960s already petitioned for the patriarchal title. Instead, Pope Paul VI
Pope Paul VI
Paul VI , born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church from 21 June 1963 until his death on 6 August 1978. Succeeding Pope John XXIII, who had convened the Second Vatican Council, he decided to continue it...

 responded by devising the rank of "Major Archbishop
Major Archbishop
right|200 px|thumb|Archbishop [[Sviatoslav Shevchuk]], Major Archbishop of Kyiv-HalychIn the Eastern Catholic Churches, major archbishop is a title for an hierarch to whose archiepiscopal see is granted the same jurisdiction in his autonomous particular Church that an Eastern patriarch has in...

", which grants all the prerogatives of an Eastern patriarch to the head of a self-governing church in full communion
Full communion
In Christian ecclesiology, full communion is a relationship between church organizations or groups that mutually recognize their sharing the essential doctrines....

, just without the title itself.


In April 2011 Shevchuk said while visiting Rome to meet Pope Benedict XVI, that he believes he was elected "despite my age." Ukrainian bishops from around the world, who met in a synod in late March to elect a new major archbishop for their church, were looking for a leader who could "unite the church in Ukraine and outside Ukraine," who could "promote the unity of Christians in Ukraine and establish some sort of dialogue with the new Ukrainian government," He continued saying "The No. 1 priority for each head of a church is evangelization, preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ in today's world," he said. "Of course, our church is growing, is developing its structures ... but we are conscious that the decision about the patriarchate belongs to the Holy Father and we would never press him. We respect his freedom." Major Archbishop Shevchuk also said his age is not really so shocking when one considers the fact that the average age of his priests is about 35. "In our tradition, we do have a married clergy, but a married clergy is not the main reason we have so many young priests," he said. On 22 June 2011 Major Archbishop Shevchuk was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches
Congregation for the Oriental Churches
The Congregation for the Oriental Churches is the dicastery of the Roman Curia responsible for contact with the Eastern Catholic Churches for the sake of assisting their development, protecting their rights and also maintaining whole and entire in the one Catholic Church, alongside the liturgical,...

 to a five year term. It may be renewed every five years until his 80th birthday.

Patriarch Kirill meeting

When asked in April 2011 whether he would wish to meet Patriarch Kirill Shevchuk said that "I would like very much to visit him and hold a personal meeting with him. I am convinced that in peacefully and openly communicating with each other, we can relieve any tension". He continued saying that "I think that today, we should heal the wounds rather than irritate and deepen them. One can heal the wounds of our memory only with mutual forgiveness. Therefore, as for any our brethren or neighbors who wounded us or were wounded by us, the best way to communicate is to be open in a brotherly dialogue, be open to the purification of our memory, to ask for forgiveness and to forgive,"
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